Germanic Languages | Tradition and Innovation in German Literature
G255 | 2573 | Terence Thayer
G255 Tradition and Innovation in German Literature (3 cr.)
"Topic: Family Politics in German Fiction" - (2nd 8 week course)
This course combines reading and discussion of five well-known German
novels, combined with intensive writing practice on topics dealing
with the novels. The texts range in date of publication from 1809 to
1971, and in setting from Germany before the French Revolution to West
Germany before unification in 1990. Together they afford a broad,
varied view both of German social history and of the impact of
contemporaneous politics on the German family. More specifically,
they present biological, socioeconomic, political, moral, and
philosophical interpretations of family history. Classwork will
consist mainly of critical discussion within the broad frameworks
provided by brief historical lectures on each text.
The course will be conducted exclusively in English. All texts will
be read in English translation. No knowledge of German is required.
No credit given in German.
This course is an approved intensive writing course and is offered
this semester for intensive writing credit. Completion of the course
fulfills the intensive writing part of the writing requirement for the
B.A. degree in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students seeking
this credit should already have fulfilled the basic English
composition part of the requirement. The course also counts towards
the College's distribution requirement in Arts and Humanities.
Each participant will write four or five papers, with a total word
count of at least 5,000 words, as prescribed for the intensive writing
requirement. Assignments for the days when papers are turned in will
include no additional reading. Graded revision of one or more papers
will also be required.
Participants will be expected to complete a reading assignment in
advance of each class, attend class, take part in the discussions,
write a brief in-class quiz on the content of each text, and write the
papers, either on topics suggested by the instructor or on topics
worked out together with him. There will be no formal tests. Grades
will be computed as follows: discussion = 30%; quizzes = 10%; papers =
Texts: Heinrich Böll. Group Portrait with Lady.
Theodor Fontane. Effi Briest.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Elective Affinities.
Günter Grass. The Tin Drum. Vintage.
Thomas Mann. Buddenbrooks. Vintage.